The 2009 football season is right around the corner. This time of year is full of anticipation and high expectations as Florida State is coming of a 9-4 season and a tromping of Wisconsin in the bowl game last year. There is talent there for FSU to continue the climb back towards the nation's elite, but there is a small group of players that need to play well in order for the season to go the way many hope it will.
NoleDigest takes a look at that group of players as we talk about what the Seminoles need from them to for 2009 to be a successful season.
Last year Markus White came into the season with a ton of hype as he was the JUCO Player of the Year. As soon as White got to Florida State he showed that he'd be a force as a back-up as the Seminoles were set with Neefy Moffett and Everette Brown ahead of him on the depth chart.
Markus showed last year that he has the potential to be a force once he gets the chance to play more minutes. He was more of a run stopper early but came on more later in the season as he forced 2 fumbles and tipped a couple passes. After finding his niche early White played well the second half of the season.
What Does Markus need to do in 2009?
With the loss of Brown and Moffett from last year Markus is the prime candidate to take over the spot as FSU's top pass rusher this fall. I think almost all FSU fans remember White's stat line from his last year in JUCO: 91 tackles, 25 ½ sacks, 17 tipped passes, 37 total TFLs and nearly 200 lost yards in sacks, 7 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries and 1 touchdown on a 30 yard fumble return.
Now, White doesn't have to match that output (if he did, he'd win every award known to man). What FSU needs is for Markus to insert himself as a pass rusher. The Seminoles lost 33 TFL and 19 sacks with Moffett and Brown leaving. The defensive ends unit is inexperienced, but there is talent there.
With a 2 new starters in the secondary FSU finding a pass rush is of high priority during fall camp. White showed over spring that he may be ready to explode this year as the ‘Noles primary pass rusher. Look for White to show that JUCO-level ability this fall, or else the secondary may be in for a long season.
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